Windward's Annual Open House Event

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 26 - Monday, May 29 2017

Adults $10/day
Kids over 5 $5/day
proceeds support the mission of the Windward Education and Research Center

The Village Helix is a gathering of people who are interested in the art, craft, science, and spirituality that lie at the center of the challenge to recreate sustainable community at the village scale. We come together to learn, to teach, to share, and to support each other in the quest to master old skills and new ways.

Hosted by the Windward Education and Research Center, The Helix happens each year in the Windward Center's campground which lies north of the Columbia River, east of Portland, Oregon, and near the Klickitat River.

We come together because creating a sustainable culture requires a diverse community of arts and crafts. And so we join together to learn almost-forgotten skills and newly-learned ways that we can take back to our home communities to help our neighbors and ourselves weather the coming storms of change.

If you want to camp-out, eat good food, get to know the Windward folk, and see Windward's approach to sustainable community, we invite you to contact us about coming to the Village Helix.

Updated 2017 Schedule


2-5pm - Welcome: Arrive and Set up Camp
5:30 pm - Dinner (seeded potluck meal).
7 pm - Opening circle and welcome. Bring your instruments!


7:30 am - Kitchen crew meet at the event kitchen to help prepare breakfast!
8:30 am - Breakfast (seeded potluck meal)
9:30 am - Herland Forest Walking Tour
11 am - Goat Cheese-Making
12 pm - Break for Lunch (bring what you need) 1:30 pm - Kid-Friendly (& Adult-Friendly) Animal Community Tour
2:30 pm - Permaculture & Agroforestry Tour/Talk
3:30 pm - (option 1) Rabbit Harvest/Butcher w/Discussion
3:30 pm - (option 2) Cider Pressing
4:30 pm Kitchen Crew Meet at the event kitchen to prepare dinner!
5:30 pm - Dinner (seeded potluck meal).
7 pm - Windward Community Q&A around the Campfire


7:30 am - Kitchen crew meet at the event kitchen to help prepare breakfast!
8:30 am - Breakfast (seeded potluck meal)
10 am - Biomass2Methanol Tour/Presentation: How can communities create their own energy sovereignty?
12 pm - Lunch on own, create your own conversation at the picnic tables.
Free Time in the Forest

Monday, May 29

9 am - Helix-goers are invited on our Community Walk around the property (~2 miles)
10 am onward - Campsite Tear-down & Goodbyes

What to Expect

Timing and Site Access

Please RSVP by sending us an email at windward[at] with the names of people in your party and the date and time you plan to arrive (a rough sense of timing is fine).

If you would like to plan on coming earlier or staying later than the dates listed above, please let us know ahead of time. There are a lot of interesting things to do in the area, such as visiting the largest telescope open to the public in the US, kayaking or fishing the wild and scenic Klickitat River, climbing Mt. Adams, and hiking the Klickitat Trail. We want to help facilitate those who are coming from a distance and want to make their stay worth the drive.

Food and Meals

Much of the gathering will center around food: growing it, preserving it, preparing it, and enjoying it. We consider food to be a form of ritual that nourishes community bonds. Food and meals are so important, we gave food it's own page!

Since food is so central to the Helix, we ask each person attending the gathering to work with a small crew of Windward members to help prepare and serve one of the 4 seeded-potluck meals.

Those particularly interested in food preparation are welcome to help out with more than one meal! Just let us know so we can plan ahead.

We will have limited space for refrigerating perishables food items. So please plan on bringing ice packs, coolers, etc.

Water and Facilities

Water is available at various places throughout the camping area, so you do not need to bring all that you need. But do bring whatever water storage containers you require.


For a list and descriptions of the workshops, presentations, and activities for this year's Village Helix check out the workshops page.

Evening Entertainment

Various kinds of participatory entertainment will be held on some of the evenings of the event. Folks from Windward will be happy to offer classic tunes and home-spun songs. There will be opportunities for campfire tales and games, drumming, and dancing. If you have a simple sing-along song, a drum, or other campfire musical instrument you would like to bring, please do.

Book Swap

The Village Helix is all about the free exchange of ideas and knowledge. For all those book worms out there, you are invited to bring books of all sorts to swap with others at the event. Of particular interest will be reliable resources on topics relating to traditional skills, crafts, sustainability, and intentional community.

Directions and Ride Sharing

Driving Directions

The Village Helix is held at the Windward Community's 40 acre campground and surrounding Windward property. The site is located in the Pacific Northwest only a few hours drive from major cities in Washington and Oregon.

If you prefer to find directions for yourself, here is the address of the site:

55 Windward Lane
Wahkiacus, WA 98670

If not, driving directions for folks coming from the North, East and West are available Here.

Ride Sharing

Given the rising importance of making travel energy efficient, we want to encourage people to ride out together.

If you're looking to car pool to the Village Helix, let us know at windward(@), and we'll try to connect you with someone riding out from your area.

Contact Us

If you are interested in joining us at the Village Helix, or would like some more information, please send a note of interest to windward(@)gorge(dot)net. To help ensure we get your email, please include Ping! in the subject line.


Reservations are not required to attend; however, we would greatly appreciate getting a note from anyone who is interested in attending. This is especially true for anyone who will be unable to attend this year, but who would like to attend in the future ‒ we want to factor in your thoughts and interests too.

More Info

Alcohol and Tobacco

For those who want to bring alcohol, we ask that you store and handle it in such a way as to ensure minors do not have access to it.

We ask that tobacco smokers be courteous to others in your choice of times and places to smoke. Since we are in a fire prone area, and conditions will likely be dry during the event, we ask that you smoke on gravel roads or in areas devoid of leaf litter that could catch fire.

Fire Arms

Hunting and shooting practice are strictly prohibited on Windward property during the event.

Vehicle Access and Parking

Once you've unloaded your camping gear, we ask that you park your car and stick to walking during the event. For those who are physically handicapped, there are some camp sites with space to park; if you need to reserve one of those areas, please contact us so that we can work with you.

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